This week is all about our volunteers! From British Columbia to Newfoundland, these are the people at the very heart of our organization who enable us to make advancements in Crohn’s and colitis research and awareness. For this year’s Volunteer Appreciation Week, we want to make sure they get the recognition they deserve by shining a spotlight on their work.
Emma Moore volunteers with us as an enthusiastic ambassador for our GoHere Washroom Access Program. As the first person to bring the program to Prince Edward Island, Emma is making tremendous strides in creating a conversation about Crohn’s disease and ulcerative colitis all while registering businesses – large and small – throughout the province for the GoHere program.
From encouraging businesses to make their washrooms accessible to people living with health conditions that cause incontinence to openly speaking about her personal experiences at her local Gutsy Walk, Emma is a kind-hearted and passionate individual who seeks to inspire others.
Why did you become involved with Crohn’s and Colitis Canada?
I decided to start volunteering with Crohn’s and Colitis Canada based on my own experiences with inflammatory bowel disease. While I struggled with ongoing health issues since I was ten years old, it was during my first year of university that my symptoms intensified.
I started to feel disconnected with my life. I began to experience the urgent and unexpected need to access a washroom when and where I need it. Leaving home to meet up with friends or head to school became tiresome and anxiety-ridden; often fearing I would not be able to find a washroom in time. While hospitalized in April 2016, I received the diagnosis of Crohn’s disease. After learning this diagnosis, I felt in some way I was responsible for helping other people in my community who are living with Crohn’s disease or ulcerative colitis.
When I learned about Crohn’s and Colitis Canada’s GoHere Washroom Access Program, I immediately knew I wanted to get involved. It was the perfect way for me to help kick-start open conversations about inflammatory bowel disease and the importance of washroom access. Volunteering also provided me with the opportunity to get involved in creating a tightknit community of support for everyone affected by Crohn’s or colitis.
I really wanted to be involved with Crohn’s and Colitis Canada in order to share the message with others that a diagnosis can act as a catalyst, rather than an obstacle. The hardest parts of our lives can lead to the most beautiful. These hardships can help us open our eyes to all of the spectacular opportunities that we have to help others. Whether I am connecting with another member of the Crohn’s and colitis community or a business owner interested in collaborating with the GoHere program, I try to share this message in any way that I can.
What is your favourite part of volunteering with Crohn’s and Colitis Canada?
What I enjoy most about volunteering with the GoHere program is the ability to make connections in my community whether it is with other people living with inflammatory bowel disease or owners of local businesses that are eager to learn more. I have had a number of people connect with me to express how much of a difference this movement is making on their day-to-day lives. Knowing I am making a positive impact is really rewarding.
As a GoHere ambassador, I use the program and my social media platforms to share my story. I think it helps others to know they shouldn’t be ashamed about living with IBD. I express how it’s important to reach out to others to ask for help or guidance. I’ve had a number of people connect with me to share how much of a difference this movement is making in their day-to-day lives. Overall, knowing I’m making a positive impact every single day as a volunteer is really rewarding.
To all our volunteers—thank you for your hard work and dedication! And to all our readers—thank you for staying with us as we featured our volunteers this week. You can read about everyone we featured here.